That was the bill from today’s visit to the auto repair shop. So it seems that my “buy (used) and hold” strategy is validated. Or is it? The $35.16 fixed only the detached rearview mirror. The other two issues remain in limbo, both in terms of what needs to be done - if anything - and the cost.
As for the “check oil” light, it wasn’t really a “check oil” light at all. Rather, it was a “check engine” light. For some reason, this seemed to make a big difference to the mechanic. Apparently, oil problems are something to get into a near panic about, but “check engine” can mean a host of things, many of which amount to basically nothing. Mine meant two things, neither of which I can remember, of course. But I was told to come in ASAP next time, in case the first thing was triggering the second. This would allow them to isolate the root cause.
As for the door molding flapping in the breeze, here’s where I think the rubber meets the road (npi) when it comes to owning a used car. The recommendation was to just rip the darn thing off. Cost: $0, my favorite. It’s not doing anything anyway. I love this because it makes you wonder why it was ever put on in the first place. (I swear my 1984 Nissan 200 SX must’ve had five or six heat shields it didn’t need.) But it also speaks to the best part about being a used car owner. You just don’t have to care as much. And caring less has a way of being cheaper when it comes to cosmetic things.